Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Stressed out sheep

OK. I'm going to impose the restriction that I cannot blog about this again. I think last time I went through this I spent too much time whining and moaning about how chicken I was and less time simply trusting God.
In my previous post, slw left a comment that made me start thinking about the concept of stressed out sheep. And while it was a funny mental picture, it was also a good reminder to me to not be like that. Sheep simply follow the shepherd. And that's what I intend to do.

That said...

Tuesday June 12th my fire inspection will take place, and Friday June 15th my Arrow home inspection will take place. Assuming I pass those inspections, by the following week sometime it will be just a matter of waiting for the phone to ring.
I will again be a foster parent.

The very prospect of it, the inspections and future foster children brings back a very familiar lump of anxiety, again, the ability to become a very stressed out anxious sheep. And, thinking about it, I began wondering about the necessity of fear in my life. I'm not saying it's ok for me to be a fearful person, but I believe there's a difference between feeling fear, and being fearful.
I imagine, if I were never afraid, I would never learn to trust God and press on through fearful circumstances.

Ideas like that make me wonder about things. Did Peter ever try to walk on water again? Did he wait until a calm day at the sea, probably when he thought no one was looking, and attempt to walk on water again? He changed his focus from Christ to the wind and the waves, and then started to sink. Did Christ know that if it had been a calm day Peter would have had no problem at all having faith to walk on water?

The storm, and all the events seem designed for just this moment in Peters life. The storm stopped instantly after Christ saved Peter and climbed into the boat with the disciples. That tells me three things.
1. He'll tell me to set sail, on a clear day, even if He knows a storm is coming.
2. He ask me to step out, away from my only seeming protection during a storm.
3. The storm won't end until it's served it's purpose.

I guess, I've said all this to say: I'm glad I know the Master of the storms. I've created storms for myself in the past, but regardless of who creates the storm, Christ is still the commander of them all. He won't let me be swallowed up by the waves. That's why I guess I'd find it almost insulting to Christ to live my life, or blog my fears as though I were a stressed out sheep. Being stressed out, in some ways, seems to say you don't have the confidence you won't be swallowed up by the waves. Part of the fears come from feeling as though the circumstances are out of control and you don't know how they're going to end up. I guess, to live a life of faith, I have to remember that circumstances are in Gods control, even though I don' t know how they're going to end up. The question is, do I trust God to be in control?

He didn't fail Peter. He won't fail me.


J. W. Poteet II said...

I honestly don't know if this has anything to do with you, but a sermon I heard a while ago has stuck with me so I'm passing it along. Like most great sermons, I don't remember what it was about, just the one point that really grabbed me. Anyway, he said that when Peter was walking on the water and began to sink, it was not because he lost faith in Jesus. As soon as he began to sink he cried "Lord save me!" Peter lost faith in Peter. He looked around at the wind and the waves and thought "what am I doing out here!" For me, that's often the hard part. Having faith in God is often the easy part. Having faith that God can do miracles through us is hard.

flyawaynet said...

I like that point. It makes me think about the application of the story to my life in a different way. So I'm glad you added your sermon note :)

When it all boils down though...isn't it still about not having enough faith in God?

Maybe the difference between believing when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 2:12) and just saying it?

J. W. Poteet II said...

One man said to Jesus, "I believe, help thou my unbelief." I think it isn't exactly a lack of faith in God that is the problem, but pride. We honestly believe that we can get in the way of God's plan. Moses struck the rock a second time, a sin so great that God barred him from the promised land, but he wasn't so great that his sin interferred with God's plan to give water to the Children of Israel. Peter believed that his lack of faith or sinfulness was a hindrance to walking on water. So he sank. In fact, God's greatest servants have been the most flawed. That never stopped God from doing great things through them. It still doesn't.

SLW said...

That was a tremendous post! Maybe your best. I loved the musing, "Did Peter ever try to walk on water again? Did he wait until a calm day at the sea, probably when he thought no one was looking, and attempt to walk on water again?" I've never thought about that before. That would have been me for sure! The analysis and application following, excellent as well. The storm had a momentary purpose, wow!

flyawaynet said...

I guess you make a good muse then slw, since you're the one that started me thinking on these lines. Thanks for the pat on the back. :)